Kaizen is Japenese for “good change” or “improvement” and is frequently used within the context of lean manufacturing. Today though, I’m going to talk about a few things I want to improve for myself, both personally and professionally.
I’m fascinated by new technology and new ways of doing work, so polishing up on some of my so-called “hard skills” comes relatively natural to me. Things like learning a new programming language or a new tool require only time which I’m more than willing and able to invest. Without further ado, here are the hard skills I’d like to improve:
- Become proficient in Go. I find Go very appealing as a language, specifically for systems-level uses.
- Become proficient in Ruby. Alot of the software I’m responsible for maintaining at Heroku is written in Ruby.
Become proficient in a functional programming language, such as Erlang. I’ve been interested in learning a functional programming language for a while. I decided on Erlang after hearing a talk from Chris Meiklejohn (of Basho) about Riak and watching several talks about Erlang and Erlang/OTP.
Addressing soft skills is something that’s a little more difficult for me, but something that I think is important. These are the soft skills I’d like to improve:
- Become better at empathy. Sometimes when listening to someone, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about what they are trying to say or how they came to that point. What I have been working on, however, is understanding why they feel a certain way in particular.
- Become a better listener. I have been working on this for a while, but one area I would still like to improve is learning to ask the the right questions. I’m always impressed when someone follows up something I said with an engaging question, and I would love to gain that ability.
- Become more well-spoken. I’d like to be a better public speaker, both publicly and privately.